I am the property owner, can I do the work myself?

Permits are still required even if the property owner does all of the work and does not hire a contractor. 


FOR RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION:

State law requires residential construction to be performed by a licensed residential home builder. The property owner can request an exemption to that law. This exemption allows the owner of the property to act as his/her own builder even though he/she does not have a license.

You may build or improve your own residence, but it must be for your use and occupancy. It may not be built or improved for the purposes of selling. If you place the residence for sale within one year after the construction is complete, the law will presume that you built it for sale, which is a violation of this exemption.

You may not hire or compensate anyone to supervise the building or improvement of the residence. It is your responsibility to make sure that subcontractors employed by you have the proper licenses required by state law and a State of Alabama business license issued through any county in the state. Your construction must comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, building codes, and zoning regulations.

By claiming exempt status, the property owner waives his/her rights for protection under the provisions of the Home Builders Licensure law. In the event of litigation involving activities resulting from the granting of a permit, the property owner may not make demand of any money from the Homeowner's Recovery Fund, established by the Home Builders Licensure law.

To qualify for this exemption, the property owner must review, complete, and return the Home Builders Licensure Law Exemption Affidavit (PDF) to the Building Department before the permit is issued.

FOR NON-RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION:

Property owners are exempt from the licensing requirements of the State of Alabama General Licensure Law pursuant to Section 34-8-1 when acting as their own contractor and providing all materials and supervision for the construction. Any of the work contracted out must comply with the definition in this chapter for general contractor. Section 34-8-7 (a)(3). The property owner should be fully aware of the State Laws, and remain in compliance with the requirements for exemption to permit as an owner. Section 34-8-9 (amended 2006).

  • The property owner should understand that by claiming exempt status, they waive their rights for protection under the provisions of the General Contractors Licensure law and that in the event of litigation involving activities resulting from the granting of this permit.
  • The property owner should also understand that permits for subcontractor work in electrical, plumbing, gas, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration must hold valid licenses from the appropriate state board of contractors.
  • Any permit obtained by an owner acting as his/her own contractor may be subject to a review and approval by the Alabama General Contractors Licensure Board.
  • The property owner must review, complete, and return the General Contractors Licensing Law Exemption Affidavit (PDF) to the Building Department before the permit is issued.

Show All Answers

1. Are duplexes allowed in residentially-zoned areas?
2. Are permits required for boat slips, boat houses, and bulkheads?
3. Are there insurance discounts available for new construction?
4. Are there wetlands on my property?
5. I am the property owner, can I do the work myself?
6. Can I clear vegetation or place fill on my vacant lot?
7. Can I park a recreational vehicle or motorcoach on a vacant lot?
8. Do I need a permit for a storage shed?
9. Do I need a permit to cut/prune a tree on my property?
10. Do I need a permit to repair my home or business following a storm?
11. How can I get a copy of an elevation certificate?
12. Is my lot located within a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated Special Flood Hazard Zone?
13. What are the Community Development hours of operation?
14. What are the minimum required setbacks for a new single-family dwelling?
15. What are the zoning requirements for fences?
16. What type of fill is permitted to use at my construction site?
17. When do I need a permit?
18. How do I get a permit?
19. Who can get a permit?
20. How much does a permit cost; when and how do I pay?
21. What are the guidelines for dune walkovers?